Connect with us

Articles of 2004

Even in Boxing, No Man Can Serve Two Masters



Recently Ron Borges of the Boston Globe and Mike Katz, who writes for the New York Times, got into a physical scuffle at a Bob Arum press conference prior to the Oscar De La Hoya — Felix Sturm fight. Though Borges is hardly a kid, Katz looks like he belongs in the Mayo Clinic, and the well-built Borges was out of line for slapping the feeble 65-year-old on the back of the head, even though Katz called him a shill for Don King.

Boxing writers laughed as Katz began swinging his cane, while Arum and his long-suffering PR man Lee Samuels dove in. Samuels supposedly hurt a shoulder to break up the melee. But what nobody is asking is: what is Borges doing get paid by King, ostensibly for his work as a TV analyst, while he's supposed to be an objective, unbiased reporter for the Globe?

Surely, as one of the most powerful, well-read boxing columnists in the country, Borges knows that King has been charged with tax evasion and fraud; he's endured three grand jury investigations, killed two men and survived an FBI sting operation. Hell, he can't even get a promoter's license in New Jersey and was an unindicted co-conspirator in the Bob Lee bribery case. In the early 1990s Organized Crime family member Michael Franzese claimed under oath in front of a congressional committee, that King was heavily mobbed up. Other sources had him routinely meeting with the late Godfather John Gotti. Former FBI man Joe Spinelli insists that King is involved with four of the five New York crime families, including his old one in Cleveland, where he started in the illegal numbers business.

King had ample opportunity to deny the allegations, but the flag-waving ex-con, who is never at a loss for words, quickly took the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination when he was forced to testify.

Then there's King's treatment of fighters. Despite the Ali Act, he still operates like the Fugitive Slave Act is on the books, and his fighters invariably end up broke, after being “managed” by his step-son Carl King. Guys like Tim Witherspoon insist that they've been forced to sign on with Carl, who laughably “negotiates” with his step-father, but according to an affidavit by King's former accountant, Joseph Maffia, (which I printed in my book Boxing Confidential), Monarch Boxing, which was Carl King's company, was nothing but a front and was totally controlled by Don King. Normally, this might get one indicted, but not in boxing.

Don King has turned conflicts of interest into an art form. But he recently lost a civil lawsuit to Terry Norris, for $7.5, million, after Norris found out that he was signing sweetheart contracts, because the predatory King owned the note on his manager's ranch. Norris ended up brain damaged. How many more Terry Norris' will there be? Kids from the ghetto, who had a dream, but end up getting paid off in uppercuts, because of those like King.

Mike Tyson found out that his two “managers” – Rory Holloway and John Horne – were also getting paid by King. Somehow, tens of millions disappeared….

While the Boston Globe often pontificates about newspapers, and the “public's right to know,” what are they doing about Borges, and his shameful relationship with King? One of the reason why this sport can't be cleaned up is because of writers who simply whore for their press pass. But Borges has taken it to new levels.

A couple of years ago, the Globe finally fired columnist Mike Barnicle, because he routinely plagiarized and had gotten to the point where he was simply making stuff up. Patricia McNamara, another columnist, also got the boot shortly thereafter, because she was writing “human interest” stories, about people who never existed. When was the last time Borges wrote a tough piece about King? The Boston Globe is still one of the finest papers in America, but the only thing the Globe has is its credibility.

Does Don King, who allegedly used to bribe cops and judges when he was in the numbers business, pay off boxing writers?

The late Mark Kram got fired from Sports Illustrated in 1977 because he took money from King. Fresh out of the Cleveland numbers racket, King even promised he'd find him work as a screenwriter.

Articles of 2004

2004 Boxing Pound for Pound List



The final boxing pound-for-pound list of the year for 2004.

1. Bernard Hopkins: The top guy from beginning to end, Hopkins took care of Oscar De La Hoya with a body shot in the biggest fight of 2004. Now, he'll wait for Jermain Taylor to progress a little further, or he'll go the rematch route with Felix Trinidad. Either way, Hopkins stands to earn a lot of money in 2005 and extend that all-time middleweight reign.

2. Floyd Mayweather: How long has it been since we've seen Mayweather in a meaningful fight? Certainly not in 2004, when he outpointed the difficult DeMarcus Corley. He's slated for a January outing against a no-name. Enough stalling, already, “Pretty Boy”. Fight someone we care about (preferably Kostya Tszyu), or you'll lose your #2 position sometime in 2005.

3. Felix Trinidad: “Tito” stormed back with a magnificent knockout of Ricardo Mayorga in 2004, and now hopes to capitalize on it with big money fights. He'd like nothing more than a rematch with his only conqueror, Hopkins, but he may also opt for old nemesis Oscar De La Hoya. Either way, Trinidad is sure to fight a big fight sometime in the coming year.

4. Kostya Tszyu: What a difference one fight makes. As recently as late October, the boxing world was wondering whether Tszyu was even serious about the sport anymore. We found out with a second round demolition of Sharmba Mitchell. And that made the junior welterweight division very attractive. Tszyu has several options now, including Arturo Gatti and Mayweather or even a hop up to welterweight to challenge Cory Spinks. Let's hope one of them happens in 2005.

5. Manny Pacquiao: Pacquiao fought twice in 2004, and what a fight the first one was. His thrilling war with Juan Manuel Marquez was the best brawl of the year, and there is a chance that the two rivals will go at it again in 2005. If not, Pacquiao has a list full of options: Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, etc. Pacquiao will fight one of them in the next year.

6. Marco Antonio Barrera: Another guy thought to be washed up when the year started, Barrera resurrected his career for the second time with a masterful victory over Paulie Ayala and a close decision over rival Erik Morales in another great fight. Barrera is obviously shooting for a return with Pacquiao, who decimated him in November 2003. Barrera says it was an off-night. Hopefully, we'll find out if that was the case.

7. Winky Wright: Winky entered the “superstar” realm in 2004 with a pair of decision victories over Shane Mosley. The first was very impressive, as Wright practically shut Mosley out. The second was closer, but proved once again that Winky was the superior fighter. He'd like a shot at Trinidad or Oscar De La Hoya, but neither will happen. He'd probably be best off shooting for a name like Fernando Vargas or Ricardo Mayorga.

8. Juan Manuel Marquez: After several years on the outside looking in, Marquez is finally in a position to make some money after his courageous performance against Pacquiao. He rose from three first-round knockdowns to wage the fight of his life in a fight that was ruled a draw. It would also be interesting to see Marquez against countrymen Barrera and Erik Morales.

9. Erik Morales: “El Terrible” fought another great fight against Barrera, but, again, it was in a losing cause. He has now lost two of three to his fierce rival, and probably wants nothing to do with him anymore. But, eventually, talk of Barrera-Morales 4 will come up again. In the meantime, Morales could shoot for Pacquiao or Marquez.

10. Glencoffe Johnson: The newest entry, Johnson pumped some life into boxing in 2004 with a pair of upsets of Roy Jones Jr. and Antonio Tarver. Now, he's set to make some really big money in rematches with either, or a shot at old conqueror Hopkins. Either way, Johnson is better than anyone imagined.

11. Jose Luis Castillo: Castillo made some comeback noise of his own in 2004, beating Juan Lazcano for his old vacant title and decisioning Joel Casamayor for another big win. He says he wants Kostya Tszyu next, and if that materializes, boxing fans will be in for a treat. If not, Castillo vs. Diego Corrales is a great fight.

12. Oscar De La Hoya: Hard to erase that picture of De La Hoya grimacing in agony courtesy of a Hopkins shot to the ribs, but the “Golden Boy” had no business fighting at 160 pounds. He should drop down to junior middle or even welterweight again if he has any hope of regaining his past form. But 2005 could be the final year for one of boxing's all-time great attractions.

On the brink: Antonio Tarver, Diego Corrales, James Toney

Continue Reading

Articles of 2004

Heavyweight Joe Mesi Bringing Lawsuit




As reported by the Buffalo News, Joe Mesi is suing the New York State Athletic Commission and the MRI center that conducted tests on the heavyweight boxer after his bout with Vassiliy Jirov. Mesi reportedly suffered brain injuries in the Jirov bout, which has left his boxing status uncertain.

The lawsuit alleges Mesi's medical records were improperly released to the NYSAC. The records, the lawsuit goes on to allege, were then released to the media, prejudicing Mesi's right to have his status reviewed by the appropriate boxing authorities.

The lawsuit does not seek specific monetary damages, as the extent of damages will be affected by whether Mesi is able to resume his career as a leading heavyweight contender.

Mesi hopes to have his status reviewed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission within the coming month. The ruling of the NSAC promises to be key in whether Mesi will be able to resume his boxing career.

Continue Reading

Articles of 2004

The Best in Chicago Boxing Returns




Dominic Pesoli's 8 Count Productions and Bob Arum's Top Rank Incorporated along with Miller Lite presents SOLO BOXEO DE MILLER, THE ARAGON RUMBLE, another installment of The Best in Chicago Boxing on Friday, January 14th, broadcast live internationally as part of Telefutura's Friday night professional boxing series.

The newly remodeled Aragon Ballroom is located at 1106 W. Lawrence Ave. near the corner of Lawrence and Broadway in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood and is easily accessible, just 4 blocks west of Lake Shore Drive and just 4 miles east of the Kennedy expressway. There are three large parking lots located within a 1/2 block of the Aragon Ballroom. Additionally, the Howard Street Blue Line stops just across the street. Doors will open at 6pm with the first bell at 7pm.

Headlining the action packed card is the American debut of super-bantamweight Ricardo “PIOLO” Castillo, 12-2 (6KO's) of Mexicali, Mexico as he squares off in a scheduled ten rounder against WBO Latino Champion, Edel Ruiz, 24-12-3 (13KO's) of Los Mochis, SI, Mexico. Castillo will be accompanied to the ring by his brother, World Lightweight Champion Jose Luis Castillo.

In the co-main event of the evening, one of Chicago's most popular fighters, middleweight “MACHO” Miguel Hernandez, 14-1 (9KO's), battles hard swinging local veteran “MARVELOUS” Shay Mobley, 7-4-1 (2KO's), of One In a Million a scheduled eight rounder.

The huge undercard bouts include;

Carlos Molina vs TBA, six rounds, junior middleweights
Frankie Tafoya vs TBA, four rounds, featherweights
Ottu Holified vs. Allen Medina, four rounds, middleweights
Francisco Rodriguez vs. LaShaun Blair, four rounds, bantamweights
Rita Figueroa vs. Sarina Hayden, four rounds, junior welterweights

Said Dominic Pesoli, President of 8 Count Productions, “it was a terrific evening last month and our fans were thrilled to be at the Aragon to watch David, Speedy and Luciano. David Diaz's fight against Jaime Rangel was a fight people will talk about for a long time. Our commitment to our fans is to make every event of ours better than the last one. This main event is terrific, both guys are very tough Mexicans who won't take a step back.

The fans love Miguel and Mobley figures to be a very tough opponent. Him and David Estrada had a six round war last June at our show. And the undercard showcases a lot of new, younger talent that is coming out of Chicago right now. Tafoya and Holifield have both had very successful beginnings to their careers and Francisco Rodriguez comes with fantastic amateur credentials and David Diaz says he has all the talent to be a great pro.”

“We've got big plans for 2005 and this show should take up right where last months show left off. The huge crowd loved the action last time and I'm sure they'll say the same thing this time.”

Continue Reading